How NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) facilitates financial abuse

In NSW, since December 2008, it has not been possible to register a motor vehicle in joint names. It would seem that this change in policy was made to streamline the issuing and enforcement of fines under the NSW road rules. Regrettably, the government appears not to have considered the impact this change would have on the safety of women and children affected by domestic violence in NSW – ill-thought-out bureaucratic convenience prevailed.

This is consistent with the general reluctance to prioritise women and children’s safety and wellbeing over property ownership, as manifest in the unwillingness to seek orders excluding violent men from homes to which they have legal title.

Taking and selling the car used by a female partner is just one of many strategies a male partner may use to perpetrate financial abuse and exercise control in a domestic violence situation. In order to provide the necessary protection for women in these situations and ensure two signatures are required for the sale of a jointly owned car, it is essential that the NSW government reinstate the option of registering motor vehicles in joint names, or at very least enable a second interest in a vehicle to be noted.

Source: How NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) facilitates financial abuse – Australian Lawyers Alliance

Landmark ruling sees employer deemed liable for an employee killed by her partner while working from home

A landmark court ruling has seen an employer deemed liable for an employee who was killed by her partner while working from home in NSW.

According to Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers, the evidence showed that Carroll was on-call from about 7.30am at home, her bedroom contained work files, she worked throughout the house and was expected to answer phone calls. She was performing employment related duties or on-call at the time she was killed.

Her de facto partner had paranoid delusions that related to the way Carroll performed her work duties at home. The evidence demonstrated a direct connection between his delusions, Carroll’s employment, and that she was killed by him.

This tragic case of domestic and family violence highlights that employers must consider much more than simple ergonomics when they have employees working from home.

Source: Landmark ruling sees employer deemed liable for an employee killed by her partner while working from home

Killer without a conviction: Fight to change how mental illness is judged

Imagine dating someone who, unbeknownst to you, had served time in jail for murder, but nothing showed up on a criminal record check.

Take NSW man Scott Settree.

He was sentenced to 18 months in jail for possessing a firearm.

But he received no criminal conviction for shooting his mum and dad dead.

The court accepted he committed the crime but because of his mental illness, he was not found legally responsible for his actions, and therefore no conviction was recorded against his name.

He can, therefore, also seek permission to legally change his name.

Source: Killer without a conviction: Fight to change how mental illness is judged

New domestic violence inquiry to probe national failures in keeping victims safe

A new parliamentary inquiry into domestic violence will give survivors a fresh opportunity to “have their voices heard” on Australia’s scourge of abuse, with advocates cautiously optimistic it will achieve more than previous probes.

Now, the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has been tasked with reporting on measures to prevent all forms of violence against women and their children, including coercive control, and the efficacy of perpetrator intervention programs, among other issues.

Source: New domestic violence inquiry to probe national failures in keeping victims safe – ABC News

‘Many people will just give up’: crime victims forced to gather own evidence under reform

Survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse will be forced to assemble their own evidence of harm suffered under proposed changes to victims’ compensation claims, prompting fears many will relive their trauma as a result.

Source: ‘Many people will just give up’: crime victims forced to gather own evidence under reform

‘Unforgiveable’: Hannah Clarke inquiry ends early, without hearings

A senate inquiry into domestic violence, set up days after a Brisbane mother and her three children were burned to death, has wrapped up three months early, without taking submissions or holding public hearings.

The inquiry was given wide scope to examine the issue of family violence, including the implementation of previous recommendations, the adequacy of current measures and how the government could address cultural change.

But in its final report, tabled on Tuesday, the committee said it “formed the view that conducting another lengthy, broad-ranging public inquiry into domestic and family violence in Australia at this time would be of limited value”.

Source: ‘Unforgiveable’: Hannah Clarke inquiry ends early, without hearings

‘This is so wrong’: Hollande highlights domestic violence in French lockdown

The former French president François Hollande has spoken of his concern for women suffering domestic abuse during the lockdown.In an interview with the Guardian, Hollande called for schoolchildren to be taught that violence at home was unacceptable but that it affected every social group.

“In the past schools didn’t want to expose children to too many taboos, including the violence at the heart of the family. It was thought better not to talk about it even though we knew, tragically, it touched a number of children. But it is important to develop a programme at school to expose this,” he said.

Source: ‘This is so wrong’: Hollande highlights domestic violence in French lockdown | Domestic violence | The Guardian

Family Court to triage family violence matters within 72 hours

The Family Court will be able to triage urgent parenting disputes relating to children within 72 hours in a newly-designated COVID-19 list.

Over three-quarters (77.3%) of domestic violence workers surveyed in March reported that safe places for child handovers with their abusive ex-partners no longer being open or available was a serious issue of concern for clients in the context of COVID-19, with many women having to compromise their personal safety through makeshift, informal handover arrangements.

The survey also revealed that three-quarters (75%) of frontline domestic violence workers hold “serious concerns” about the numbers of women succumbing to child contact with a violent parent due to their own lack of other supports in the context of COVID-19.

Last year 89% of domestic violence court advocacy workers surveyed across NSW last year reported having issues with police not including children as protected persons on ADVO applications either “sometimes”, “usually” or “always”, whilst 59% reported issues with police reluctance to enact an ADVO breach where family law orders exist, notwithstanding the ADVO overriding the family law order.

Source: Family Court to triage family violence matters within 72 hours

Women killed by men during U.K.’s coronavirus lockdown 3 times higher than average, data show

London — Nearly three times as many women were killed by men during three weeks of coronavirus lockdown in Britain than the average for the same period over the last decade, according to data compiled by monitoring and advocacy groups. In the three weeks starting March 23, when people were asked to stay in their homes to stop the spread of COVID-19, 14 women were killed by men in the U.K., according to Karen Ingala Smith, who runs Counting Dead Women and is chief executive of Nia, a nonprofit dedicated to ending sexual violence and domestic abuse. That’s the highest number recorded in over ten years.ise in domestic abuse against women globally due to quarantine measures.

Source: Women killed by men during U.K.’s coronavirus lockdown 3 times higher than average, data show – CBS News